20 May 2019

Air Navigation Pro: The Best 5 Ideas for Pilots to Fly this Summer

Air Navigation Pro: The Best 5 Ideas for Pilots to Fly this Summer

With the advent of Summer, aviation activities start erupting all over the country. It is one of the best seasons to experience true freedom and adventure of flying while reaching new heights. 

Most pilots don't need reasons to go flying   if the weather and budget are in good shape, it's time to visit unfamiliar places and discover unexpected journeys. But while flying is almost always fun, it's easy to get stuck in a routine.

Making usual flights time after time is unexciting and apparently, it depresses your flying competence. As a pilot, to take on new challenges whether it's a new airplane, a new hobby, or a new destination improves overall efficiency.

So with that right amount of adrenaline in your body, jump in your aircraft and let's consider the best 5 ideas to seize every moment this summer to go out and go flying. Whether you're a student pilot, experienced pilot or a new pilot looking for a great experience, there's something for everyone out there. 

1. Engage in a Fly-In 

Fly-In is a pre-arranged assembly of aircraft and pilots for recreational and social purposes. It is a once in a lifetime combination of great events and it opens the window of opportunity to experience the excitement of attending fly-ins and the warm community of aviation. A good way to get started is to attend a few smaller nearby fly-ins and to gain a bit of fly-in experience before discussing the big gala events. Finding an interesting fly-in to engage should not be a problem. 

Learn to become very selective when picking your fly-in excursions. Some are casual, spontaneous get-togethers and others are the results of hard work and joint efforts of several flying clubs and organizations. 

In contrast to the smaller fly-ins that take place on smaller, uncontrolled aerodromes are the enormous metropolitan airshows. These large and extravagant airshow exhibitions feature warbirds, military aircraft and paid aerobatic performers with the intention of educating and entertaining the general public. Hence, whether you are a participant or a spectator, it will define the flying events you prefer. 

You will possibly find the most enjoyment in smaller fly-ins, perhaps because you can arrive and leave anytime you want. On the other hand, larger fly-ins have strict airshow schedules since the airport has to be closed during the event, mostly for the whole afternoon. This makes you a captive as you will be prohibited to depart during that period. If you have a far place to fly, it could cause you to get home late. 

Before being aircraft owners, most of us have attended fly-ins to which we probably had to drive long hours. Consequently, we may already be knowledgeable with a few of the policies that aircraft owners, as well as spectators, are required to follow. However, coming to a fly-in with your own aircraft demands preparations that you need to adequately integrate. It is then that you realize there is so much more to know than meets the eye. 

Here are some of the typical fly-in rules and practices you can expect to come across at most fly-in:

  • Aircraft Parking Situation 

As soon as you arrive at a fly-in event, you may find out that parking choices are very limited, expect to be directed to a specific open space in the homebuilt or show plane parking area.

Few pilots stake off their airplane using posts and ropes. Sometimes, fly-in regulations do not permit the use of stakes as someone might get hurt. Instead, they encourage to use a surveyor type ribbon or tape. 

Furthermore, it is a good idea to lock your controls if you have the provision. Otherwise, you could use your safety belt to immobilize the control stick.

  • Tiedowns Requirement

Every homebuilt aircraft should have specially prepared tiedown points installed during construction. The regular accommodation is removable tiedown rings which can be screwed into tapped holes in each wing.

In case, you neglected to make provision for reliable tiedown points, this does not exempt you from tying your airplane down anyway. Thus, you will be forced to wrap ropes around the landing gear legs and the tail, and that is not an ideal substitute. 

All airplanes attending a fly-in must be tiedown when parked overnight or if it is to be left unattended for any length of time. 

Additionally, it is mandatory to carry your own tiedown and chocks when you go on a cross-country or attend a fly-in. 

  • Refueling Engine

Don't pass up an opportunity to refuel your aircraft as soon as you arrive. If you can find an available refueling truck, flag it down. Do not wait until you are ready to go.

Remember to find out beforehand if the fuel type you have is accessible. Any other way, you can fly to the nearest facility known to have the fuel for your particular engine. 

  • Mechanical Problem

At a large fly-in, assistance is available for most kinds of mechanical problems. On the other hand, at smaller or local fly-ins, you will have to depend on the available help you can get from willing fellow aviators. It is nice to know most of them will offer help, but should not set that as an expectation all the time. Try to be self-equipped for unexpected minor mechanical emergencies. 

With this, a small repair kit should be a part of your onboard toolset and you should carry it at all times in your baggage compartment. 

  • Socializing

If you happen to attend big fly-in events, there will be interested spectators allowed into the show plane parking areas hanging around to explore and inspect different and unique aircraft. For small or local fly-ins, it depends as to what specific itineraries are arranged. Whether it is about having a barbecue party, camping, trail riding, or waterfall hikes, you better bring gear for such non-flying activities. 

At most fly-ins, you will have the opportunity to examine many other aircraft, build relationships with fellow aviators, discover new interests and learn from meaningful conversations. You will be surprised by how many good ideas you can pick to make as many fly-ins as you can.

There's no doubt that flying is more fun with the company of friends, and many organizations host fly-ins, you can check out EuroGa and European Aircraft Sales for upcoming Fly-In events. 

2. Set a new cross country record 

What's the farthest flight you've ever made, 100? or 1000 miles? Whatever your top record is, the best time to break it is this summer. The long days mean more flying to accomplish your trip, and there is no shortage of destinations.

You may need to fly to more than one airport or at least 150 nautical miles if you want to try in different types of airspace environment. Although planning a cross-country flight can seem like a daunting task, selecting a destination is easy.

Here are a few important things to keep in mind to ensure overall smooth cross-country flight:

  • Choose your route

Choose any routes that will allow you to fly at a safe optimum altitude for your aircraft while still allowing you to conveniently identify landmarks on the ground. Choose landmarks that are 5-10 nautical miles apart and are easy to determine. Lakes, rivers, towns and other airports are usually easy to spot. However, flying with a small airplane might be difficult to climb high enough to fly over a mountain range. Be carefully aware of the terrain, military operation areas, NOTAMs and temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) when you plan your route.

Once you have your route, plot it out on a VFR sectional map.  

  • Familiarize the Airport

It is only imperative to keep your situational awareness if you are stuck in a busy airport without an airport diagram. Large aerodromes can be challenging and taxi instructions are lengthy. Getting familiar with the airport layout helps you to know which fixed-base operator to use and hours of operation. You'll want to make sure fueling, tiedown and parking, aircraft maintenance and other similar services are available when you need them.

  • Double-check equipment on board

Make sure your navigational instruments function properly and the GPS database is up-to-date and working. Be fully equipped with survival gear, appropriate clothing for the weather, flashlights, charts, and water. 

  • Calculate Airspeed, Time and Distance

You must complete the speed, distance, time and fuel consumption calculation for each leg of the flight. It's easiest to use navigational log form for this, you can do it by hand or a computer device. Using a navigational log or a flight planning application can help you effectively organize the computations.

  • Navigate with a Flight Planning Application

Securing a flight planning application on your device definitely adds a layer of safety. With a proper flight assistant application like Air Navigation Pro, enable real-time aircraft moving map navigation which makes cross-country flying a breeze. 

You can plan and edit your multi-leg navigation flight plan directly from the moving map or by a quick search in the waypoints database. The planned route is displayed on the moving map as vectors. The application will calculate the next point distance, track and heading. ETE and ETA are calculated from your current speed while in-flight or from intended cruise speed and wind information. 

Plus, it is a great flight tracking tool that gives access to your friends to follow your flight and share the flight directly on your social media platform after landing.

More than that, don't forget to file a flight plan. Effective flight planning involves the process of essentially mapping out and understanding all of the criteria, materials, and routes of a flight. It is crucial that all flights are deemed to have a well-structured and organized flight plan, which will not only maximize safety but also reduce the costs where necessary.

Within the Air Navigation Pro app, you can now create your flight plan. The updated ATC Flight Plan Feature will help you lessen your time when it comes to flight planning. You have now more choices on which flight plan would best suit you.

To know more about the Air Navigation Pro application features, products and subscriptions go to Air Navigation Pro website.

3. Take a lapsed pilot flying

Have you taken hiatus from flying? If so, you're not alone, a number of pilots take a breather from flying, and summer is a great time to return to flight! For some pilots, flying can take a backseat in life as they undergo changes like a growing family, shifting career, or sometimes, a medical issue. But if you're still active in the saddle and you happen to have friends, family members or colleagues, who haven't flown in years, then take them up for a sunrise flight and remind them how magical it can be to go flying. 

Inarguably, once a pilot is always a pilot because a pilot certificate or license never expires. Hence, there are few things pilots need to know as they get back into flying: 

  • Flight Review

All you need to get back into the left seat is the latest edition of Flight Review with a certified flight instructor, which generally consists of a minimum of 1 hour of flight training and 1 hour of ground training. As you can see Flight Review is not an extensive procedure, it plainly requires a flight instructor to ensure that you are safe to go flying again.

In the USA, the purpose of the Flight Review required by the FAA Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) is to provide for a regular evaluation of pilot skills and aeronautical knowledge. In effect, the flight review is the aeronautical equivalent of a regular medical checkup and ongoing health improvement program.

With this, pilots should try to magnify areas of flying that they feel need work or haven't been reviewed in years. Appreciate Flight Review as a great learning experience, not just a regulatory requirement.

  • Staying Current

In the USA, According to FAR 61.57, if you want to carry passengers you must have completed at least 3 takeoffs and landings within the preceding 90 days which significantly applies to the daytime requirement. But if you are also interested in returning to a night passenger carrying, remember to conduct those 3 landings at night to a full stop to surpass the night passenger carrying standards. 

  • Medical Endorsements

On top of obtaining a current Flight Review, lapsed pilots will also need to secure a current medical certificate. Unless you are planning to return to flying utilizing Sport Privileges, you will need to have a current medical certificate for non-commercial operations.

Medical certificate durations have changed over time. Currently according to FAR 61.23, if you are under the age of 40 when you have your medical examination, you have 60 calendar months of privileges. On the other hand, if you are over the age of 40 at the time of the examination, you have 24 calendar months before needing another medical.

If you have any questions about the medical validation, your flight instructor will be able to help you interpret the guidelines. 

  • Maintaining Proficiency

Being able to meet the above minimum requirements will certify you can legally return to flying, but staying legal doesn't relevantly mean that a lapsed pilot will be safe, comfortable, and proficient as possible upon returning to skies. Staying proficient highly entails a commitment of practice and training. Make some plans to refresh your aviation knowledge and be familiar with any aviation procedures and regulations that may have revised while you were inactive. 

There are also credible resources including online courses, webinars, and seminars available to help inactive pilots regain proficiency. 

4. Fly for a charitable cause 

More pilots are using their skills to give back. Aviation charities have sprung up to support different advocacies and movements. You might consider transporting children with special needs to hospital appointments or fly medical, relief and life-transforming help to vulnerable people in hard-to-reach places. 

You can refer and join these charities who are missioned to fly far and wide to extend varieties of bundles of services:

They fly over jungles, mountains, swamps, and deserts and enable over 2,000 aid development and mission organizations to cater medical care, emergency relief, long-term development, and Christian hope to thousands of communities. 

  • Air Charity Network

    A charitable organization that provides access for people in need who are seeking free air transportation to specialized health care facilities or distant destinations due to family, community, or national crisis. They also coordinate flights to fly organ transplant candidates, people involved in clinical trials, chemotherapy or other repetitive treatment, victims of abuse seeking relocation, disabled or sick children to special summer camp programs and for many other humanitarian reasons.

  • Fly2Help

    An aviation charity dedicated to raising the spirits of people, young and old, living in difficult personal situations and inspiring young people as they consider their future lives. Founded by pilots, their Air Smiles Days and Aim High Education program take everything that is exhilarating about flying and uses it to do something extraordinary. 

  • Aviation Environment Federation (AEF)

    It is the principal NGO campaigning exclusively on the environmental impacts of aviation and promoting a sustainable future for the sector. Aviation has environmental, social and economic impacts and so despite being an organization that is in small size, their work covers issues ranging from local air quality to global climate change, and from local participation in an airport consultative committee to the overall national economic impact of a new runway. It is their aim to protect the environment, public health, and quality of life through securing policies and measures that ensure effective limits on noise, emissions and other environmental impacts from the aviation sector. 

The immeasurable happiness in flying does not only take into account how much you enjoy to see breathtaking places but it can also be found in the happy faces of the people you have helped. For more involvement check Charity Flights.

5. Go on a flying family vacation and see nature's most spectacular sights 

If you're headed to a summer escapade with your family, may it be to the beach or the mountains, add a little aviation vibe by flying to your vacation place. With a flexible schedule and good planning, you can save time and have more fun.

Here is a short list of some best places to visit in Europe and the best things you can do:

It is hailed as the European Sports Capital! You can do endless sports activities like jumping out a plane, climbing down a canyon, kayaking, hang-gliding, or simply trekking around the stunning mountains. Even if you are not up for some adventures, you can already enjoy sightseeing the incredible nature of the place such as the high mountains and lakes. 

One of the smallest countries in Europe, surrounded by mountains. Also a sports country, you can enjoy kayak, mountain bike, rafting or simply appreciate the beautiful sceneries. 

Its nickname is Jewel Box and it is still a hidden gem for many people. It has one of the most impressive natural landmarks nearby. Going there during Summer is perfect to hang out all the beer gardens around the city and witness the mesmerizing view of Elbe Sandstone Mountains.

The city is charismatic and vibrant, plus the food is amazing. You can do a lot of day trips to nice cities like Penich, Evora and Carcais.  It is a great city to visit for families.

Ljubljana means "beloved" and believes that not too long you'll fall in love once you set foot to this place. It is the perfect bite-size city! The place is cheap, safe and you will find friendly locals. You can enjoy a panoramic view of Ljubljana at the Sky Scraper, get sweaty on the Roznik Walk in Tival Park, enjoy a scenic wooden boat ride, or take a refreshing dip at Lake Bohinj. 

Let us know if ever you plan on doing those activities and flying those summer destinations. Don't forget to take a photo and share it with us.

Do you know any interesting ideas for pilots to venture out this summer? Share it with us and email us at sharmaine@airnavigation.aero.

Do you have awesome stories and photos using Air Navigation Pro to share with us?

Send us a message in one of our social media accounts Facebook, Instragram or send us an e-mail at sharmaine@airnavigation.aero.

to discover more about the Flight planning application Air Navigation Pro iOS, 
you can also visit our website at 
and check the manual for additional details on how to use the new features.

Blue Skies, 
The Air Navigation Team



Post a Comment